Showing posts from January, 2012

30 Day Challenge: Day 12 - A Song You Want Played At Your Wedding

So, I know I said I wasn't sticking to my old schedule, but I love doing this 30 Day Challenge so that's one thing I've decided to keep doing. :) It's still a Saturday-only thing, though.

This week's challenge is a song I want played at my wedding.  Now I know most girls would share their "first dance" song or some love song they adore, but my music tastes change on a regular basis, and I have no idea what my "first dance" song will be.  In fact, there's only one song I know for sure I want played at my wedding - the father/bride dance song.  I almost cried the first several times this played on KLove, and every time I thought, I just have to play this at my wedding.

My Big Announcement

Lately my life is intact while my inner deterioration is gaining speed.  I hardly feel anything but stressed anymore.  I used to have (sometimes random, sometimes caused) moments of excitement or peace or pure happiness, and some emotions that I don't think even have a name yet.  Now I feel like I've stretched myself into a shell with no meaning left inside.  I've been reevaluating my time, and calendar, and priorities, and... well, everything.  My life.  And I've decided that blogging no longer means what it once did to me.  This used to be a creative outlet, but now it's a place to ramble and show off my life.
I'm stressed out, wasting time, scheduling every jot and tittle of my life, and no longer enjoying any of it.  So, this is me, saying thank you and sorry.  The party was fantastic, and this past year of blogging wasn't a loss.  I learned a lot about myself, met lots of wonderful new people, and improved my writing.  (Not to mention, I expanded my re…

As All Good Things

Everyone has heard the quote, "All good things must come to an end."  And so must this wonderful blog party.  Why not end with a bang?  Let's finish off our blog party with a summary of all the wonderful, amazing, spectacular people and presents that we enjoyed this month.

For those of you who joined mid-party, you can always go back and see the wisdom, laughs, and great photographs (yes, I rhymed) to be had:

Walls {guest post}
Author Interview: Marc Franco
My Christmas Decor
Book Review: The Christmas Conversation
Christmas Memories {guest post}
Behold the Handmaid of the Lord {guest post}
Hannukah, the Feast of Dedication {guest post}
Christmas Traditions {guest post}
White Chocolate Pretzel Candy Clusters {guest recipe}
The Night of Christmas {guest post}
Merry Christmas!
End of 2011
Story Time
Time {guest post}
Blogging and Me {guest post}
Author Interview: Cindey Swanson
Testimony {guest post}
Stepping Heavenward {guest post}
Blending History with Fiction {author guest post}
One Thing …

A Birthday Letter {guest post}

Dear Emily,

Happy sixteenth birthday! As a special treat, I’m going to repeat what everybody always says on teen birthdays—the whole “growing up so fast” thing coupled with depressing statements of irrevocable change and impending doom and then concluding with well-worn (though profound) assurance of how it won’t be so bad, after all.

I spent most of my younger life studying upper respiratory infections in rats and bedding options for horses in hopes of being a vet/breeder/pet store owner. I planned on starting out the store in my bedroom, even had the floor plans all made out in my notebook, though I admittedly had some trouble squeezing in two bunk beds and four sisters between the guinea pig and ferret cages. Life made sense back then. The biggest decisions involved breakfast and what to name my new Littlest Pet Shop bobbleheads—quite a delicate procedure, I can assure you. I had my life planned before I finished elementary school.

By sixteen I couldn’t even find square one again.…

Book Review: Raised Right

Raised RightBy Alisa Harris
How I Untangled My Faith from Politics

Honestly, when I picked this book out a couple months ago, I didn't expect what I ended up with.  I made the same assumption as most of the readers/buyers/bloggers, that "Raised Right" meant "Raised Correctly."  But no ma'am, that is not what this author means.  "Raised Right" means what it says: namely, right-wing conservative.

Another assumption most of us made was that "Harris" referred to Josh Harris (author of Boy Meets Girl, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and many other books famous in my circles) and his brothers, Alex and Brett (authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here, as well as founders of the Rebelution movement).  I figured she was a just-now-emerging sister that had hidden in her brothers' shadows; when I found out she was married, I assumed she was Josh's wife.  (Is he married?  I know zilch about him, really.)

All that said, this book was nothing what I e…

One Thing In Common {guest post}

A couple months ago, I volunteered to write a guest post for Miss Emily’s blog party. I’ll be honest, I’ve never done anything like this before, and I had no idea what to write. I was thinking "What do I, a seamstress, have in common with a writer? What can I say to people who might have completely different interests than I do?" Then I realized that even though we might have different interests and talents, we all have one thing in common, and that is that we can, and should, use our different gifts to the glory of God. "Well," one might ask, "how on earth can I use my sewing abilities (for example) to bring glory to God?"

First, do whatever you do well, and not half-heartedly. Colosians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." If God has given you gifts, use them! And do your work well. Don’t be content with sloppy or it's-good-enough work. Do your work to the best of your ability. Remember …

Blending History With Fiction {author guest post and giveaway winner announcement}

I know you're all anxious to see who wins this great series, but first, some words from the awesomesauce author of said series.

My Ripple Trilogy, Rippler, Chameleon, and Unfurl tells the story of a girl who can “ripple” or turn invisible. All three books contain numerous excerpts from the journal of a scientist working secretly in the late 1930’s. He’s the bad guy. He’s observing and sometimes interacting with children with names like “Fritz,” “Franz,” “Gunter,” and “Helga.” It doesn’t take too much imagination to figure out that the man running the experiments is politically and philosophically a Nazi.

However, when I wrote the first book, I had the experience of discovering his affiliations. At first, I only knew that he had performed behavioral experiments upon a group of children as part of an effort to create a new and perfected race. The word “eugenics” kept dancing around in my head, and one day when I’d written as much as I could for the morning, I hopped online and googled…

Surprise Interview and Giveaway

Guess who's coming to talk with us today.


Betcha didn't guess right! :)  We are having... *drumroll* ROBIN JONES GUNN! Yes, the very author of the amazing Christy Miller series and all those that follow - the author of Praying for Your Future Husband - the author of the Sisterchick series!  She's actually here!

She brought something special for one lucky reader... but first, our mini interview. :)

Welcome to Struggles of a (Maybe) Teen Author!  I can't tell you how glad I am to have you.  I know you're a very busy and sought-after woman, so I've narrowed down my usual interview to three questions that aren't found on your website.  First off, What keeps you motivated while writing?

Deadlines are a great motivator. So is feedback from readers or input from a critique group.

My guess is that most creative types can become easily sidetracked in the middle of a project. I sure am.  The initial enthusiasm fades. The ideas that were once crystal clear becom…

Stepping Heavenward {guest post}

Today AnnaKate is back to share her thoughts on her favorite book - one I purchased last summer and intend to read soon.

“How dreadfully old I am getting!  Sixteen!”

So writes Katherine Mortimer in her brand new journal that will chronicle the journey of her life, her spiritual struggles and joys, her loves and hopes and dreams.

Stepping Heavenward is a wonderful story by Elizabeth Prentiss, taken from her own life and journals.  My mom initially introduced me to it on the way home from a vacation when I was ten years old, and I devoured it over the five-hour journey.  A good portion of it must have gone over my head; it’s written in a style mimicking the classics and I was accustomed to Beverly Cleary and just venturing into the world of Newberry Awards.  But something in the story latched on to me—maybe the insight that came later, the fact that I am very much like Kate Mortimer!  Her struggles are my struggles; the battle over self-will, the never-ending toil to hold my tongue, and t…

Super Girls' Giveaway!

Today we have a special double giveaway, specifically in honor of my sweet sixteenth!  :)  Actually, I don't turn sixteen for another week, but that's when the party ends.  I had to fit the giveaway in the party, of course.  Some of this stuff is freebies I've acquired, and others I bought for y'all. ;)

I've got some great stuff here for all the ladies - older and younger - in my audience, so let's take a look!

Prize Pack One: Perfectly Princess

Princess Bellarina by Marilyn Obsuna
The Rescuers by Cecelia Maria Hilliard
Two adorable puppy figurines

Prize Pack Two: Girly Greatness

The Adventurous Girl's Handbook by Stephen & Lara Brennan
The Pocket Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan & Miriam Peskowitz

Prize Pack Three: Pamper Me Pretty

Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Very Black Mascara
Maybelline Pink Punch Baby Lips Lip Balm
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion Travel Bottle
Japanese "Nail French" Polish in Light Blue
Japanese "Nai…

Testimony {guest post}

Today the lovely PK [preacher's kid] AnnaKate is visiting to share her personal testimony.

"There is no doubt in my mind, Lord, that I love you. I feel it with certainty. You struck my heart with Your Word and I loved you." (St. Augustine, Confessions)

Many preachers and teachers of God’s Word mourn the peril of being a 'pastor’s kid.'  Personally, I can understand their concern.  While there are innumerable blessings and benefits of being a pastor’s child, there is a danger as well, a danger that I faced growing up and that peaked when I was eleven years old.

We grew up hearing about the things of God, reading Bible stories and having family devotions, watching Veggie Tales and singing God’s praise, drawing as we listened to sermons, not unlike most Christian families.  The danger lay in the fact that we began to grow numb to the truth contained within the words, until we dully recited them like a list of past participles, assured of our accuracy but less than e…

Giveaway Winner: In Their Sandals

And the winner of an autographed copy of In Their Sandals by Rand Hummel is...


... Rachelle from Inspiring Daring!  Congratulations, Rachelle!  I'll be emailing you concerning your prize.  :)

As for the rest of you, don't worry - we've still got a few amazing giveaways coming up!

A personal note to Audrey Boyette: when you entered the giveaway, your comment posted three times.  In trying to delete the duplicates, I accidentally removed all of them.  Sorry!  I still counted you as an entrant in the giveaway.

Giveaway: Ripple Series by Cidney Swanson

As I told you yesterday, we have yet another fabulous giveaway today - and this time, Ms. Cidney Swanson is our not-so-secret Santa!  She has ebook copies of her entire Ripple series - Rippler, Chameleon, and Unfurl - for one lucky reader.  (Read my review of Ripplerhere, and don't forget to check out yesterday's interview.)

This series is YA, and I definitely think it's been marked properly - in other words, this is more of a teen giveaway.  (Unless you're one of those grown women who are still in love with YA literature! Totally don't blame you...)  Since we already discussed the book in the review and the interview, let's get right to the gift-giving!

Here's how to enter:

Giveaway Rules:
- US only, please
- You must be at least 13 years old to qualify
- Non-followers welcome!

To Enter:
Please leave a comment to enter. If your email address is not listed on your Blogger profile, or you don't have a Blogger profile, please leave an email address so I c…

Author Interview: Cidney Swanson of Rippler

Today we have Ms. Cidney Swanson, author ofRipplerandChameleon, with us.  {Read my review of Rippler here.}

Cidney Swanson is the author of The Ripple Series. She began writing at age seven; her first novel began with “Ouch,” and her characters have been suffering ever since. Cidney lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, three kids, two cats, one dog, and entirely too much rain.

Welcome to Struggles of a (Maybe) Teen Author!  I'm so glad you were able to be with us today, because frankly, your book is one of the best books I've reviewed.  Let's get started!

How long have you been writing?  I started writing stories literally as soon as teachers taught me how to form letters using pencil and paper.

Why did you start writing?  Have you always wanted to be a writer?  Starting? I can’t really remember other than to say that I liked words as a very (very) young child and that I liked stories as well.  And yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

It sounds like you've had…

Blogging and Me {guest post}

Hey everyone! My name is Julie and I review books over at Reading Stands Forever! I'm so excited that my first guest post is on the blog of one of my blogging friends!

I'm not new to the blogging world. I've been reading book review blogs since about the summer of 2008, and began one with my best friend a few months after. A few days ago later year my friend and I parted ways (blogging-wise, we're still the closest friends) and now I have my own review blog that I have been reviewing on for exactly a year. Yes, it's my blogoversary! I have been blogging on Reading Stands Forever for exactly a year! I may not have many reviews, but I love what I do.

When I heard about Emily's blog party, I knew I wanted to do a guest post, but I was having trouble deciding on what I wanted to post about. I thought about it, and Emily suggested that I talk about what blogging means to me, since I was scheduled to post on my blogovsersary. So, here I am, talking about everything …

Giveaway Winner: Love You More by Jennifer Grant

And the winner of one gently used paperback copy of Love You More by Jennifer Grant is...


Abigail from the Go Teen Writers Facebook community!  Congrats Abigail!  I'll be emailing you for details on collecting your prize :)

As for the rest of you, don't worry - we just started another giveaway yesterday!  Go check it out!